- Hardcover: 736 pages
- Publisher: Voyager - GB (20 November 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008307733
- ISBN-13: 978-0008307738
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 6 x 24 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.3 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fire And Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) Hardcover – 20 Nov 2018
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PRAISE FOR A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE:
‘Of those who work in the grand epic fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best’
‘Colossal, staggering…Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome’
‘Martin’s style is so vivid that you will be hooked within a few pages’
‘I always expect the best from George R.R. Martin and he always delivers’
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The book itself purports to be the first volume of the history of the early Targaryen kings, from Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters through to Aegon III. There are twenty-three chapters and although my interest flagged towards the end, I mostly enjoyed it. I’m told, by those more familiar than I am, with the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, that much of the material is not new. I can’t comment on that as most of it was new to me.
My favourite part? The seven chapters dealing with the fifty-year reign of Jaehaerys I, his Queen Alysanne and their children. This read like, well, a history.
Is it worth reading? Probably not for those who’ve been immersed in the series since the beginning. I’m glad I read it: I borrowed a copy from my local library.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Why am I telling you this about Tolkien in a review for GRR Martin? This should seem fairly obvious by now: GRR Martin has the same longing Tolkien did. He has the same love of the grand, sweeping historical epic. So far he has been giving us his 'Lord of the Rings,' his drama of the minutiae, but in the process he got caught up in the grand and glorious visions of the Targaryens, just as Tolkien was swept up into the glories of the First Age. It’s no mistake this book is being called the “GRRMillion.”
Martin's popularity is granting him a chance that Tolkien unfortunately never had in his lifetime: To create his myth IN FULL. To give us the grand sweep of things in the greater world, beyond just the characters we know and love in 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'
Please accept this book for what it is, rather than complaining about what it does not aim to be. And what exactly is it? An artefact from Westeros. It should be read not as a book Martin wrote, but one he transcribed, from the original text by Archmaester Gyldayn. It will require some work on the part of the reader. The lines have been drawn, and we are being asked to fill in the colors with our imaginations. This participatory reading is what can make history so engaging—it takes work, but the work pays off.
We have two choices: We can claw after the next GoT book, complaining that the author hasn’t yet met our demands. Or we can allow the author a chance to fill out his universe. For my part, this stuff is more exciting than the series proper. We get to see the bigger picture that all of the Song of Ice and Fire is a part of. If you don't want this sort of thing, simply move on rather than ruining the experience for others.
I remember what it felt like to sit down one day as a boy and open 'The Silmarillion.' I was holding the Bible of the Elves. It was a piece of that world. It was a text that might have been read by a scholar in Minas Tirith. It was magic. Martin has the chance to give us this now. Imagine being Samwell Tarly, sitting in the Citadel's library, opening up this ponderous and magical tome about the history of the Targaryens for the first time.
Why now, though? Why not wait until he's finished telling the main story? For my part, I'd rather follow the passion of a writer than get mediocre work demanded by fans. Martin created this universe for us; let him follow his vision for how it should proceed. He was caught up in the glorious history of his universe as he was telling his story, and he wants us to have it in all of its rich complexity. I can only wish that Tolkien had had the same opportunity in his lifetime. We only see fragments of what that might have been. But Martin is giving us his own great mythology, in his own lifetime, whole and complete; and I am a boy again with wonder.
This, my friends, is going to be a feast.
And as the others leaving “reviews” so astutely put, this is not Winds of Winter. Get over it. You’re more than welcome to go write your own epic fantasy books at your own pace.
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